During the upcoming winter break myLesley will transition to a SaaS environment and upgrade the latest version of Blackboard (Q4 2017). The upgrade and migration to the new servers will take place from Saturday, December 30, 2017 to Wednesday, January 3, 2018. You will not have access to myLesley during this time.
Date & Time
Saturday, December 30, 2017 to Wednesday, January 3, 2018.
There will be no access to myLesley during this time.
All other Lesley services (LOIS, email, Office 365, etc) will be available during this time.
Move to SaaS
SaaS is short for Software as a Service. If you use Google applications or Office 365, you are already using SaaS applications. These cloud-based systems are always available to you and updates happen behind the scenes without impacting your ability to use them whenever you need them.
Currently, applying updates and fixes to myLesley requires making the system unavailable to all faculty, staff and students for hours or even days. Moving myLesley to a SaaS delivery model will allow us to make updates, apply fixes and perform ongoing maintenance with little to no downtime.
What is Changing in myLesley?
There will be no major changes to myLesley. Your courses and the tools within them will perform the same way they did before, but with some behind the scenes fixes and updates. However, as part of the update the way myLesley looks will change and we are streamlining and removing some older legacy tools.
Look and Feel (moving to a new Theme)
myLesley is currently on an older "theme." The theme defines the way myLesley looks and feels, including the color palette, fonts used, and how items are spaced. We plan to move to the Learn 2016 Theme in January. The 2016 theme employs responsive design to allow for an improved experience navigating Blackboard regardless of the device you are using. myLesley will automatically adjust to provide you with the best experience, whether you are using a desktop with a large screen, a small laptop screen, a tablet, or your phone. The downside of the 2016 theme is that we will lose the ability for faculty to select a custom color palette for each course. Course Themes, and the ability to select menu colors, will no longer be an option. Faculty may still choose to use button menu items, change the course entry page, or upload a banner image if they wish.
Crocodoc is the inline grading tool used to grade student submitted assignments directly in myLesley. The company that owns Crocodoc has decided to discontinue service in mid-January. Blackboard is replacing Crocodoc with its New Box View which is due to be released later this month. The New Box View tool will look a little different, but is expected to perform mostly the same.
Blackboard IM (BB IM)
While the Blackboard IM collaboration and messaging tool has not technically been terminated by Blackboard, it has not received updates or improvements in several years. For the last two years, we have been pointing faculty and students to other options such as Skype for Business and Collaborate Ultra. Collaborate Ultra is integrated into all myLesley courses and Skype for Business is available via your Lesley Office 365 account. Both tools have modern interfaces and mobile capabilities.
After the upgrade, you may still continue to use your existing BB IM, but you will not be able to create new accounts. If you need assistance switching to Skype for Business or Collaborate Ultra, email eLIS@lesley.edu.
Collaborate Original web conferencing software has been integrated into myLesley for several years. It has served us well, but as a java-based tool it required users to install multiple softwares on their computer, making access a problem. Collaborate Ultra is web-based, much easier to use, and also integrated directly into your myLesley course.
VoiceThread LTI Integration
No, we are not getting rid of VoiceThread. The Lesley VoiceThread portal and your ability to create and share VoiceThreads is DEFINITELY staying. However, the integration for myLesley has been less than successful. It is primarily intended for schools that do not have their own private VoiceThread portal. Trying to use both has resulted in some oddities and quirky behavior. Since the integration tool is far more limited than the full portal, we are turning off the myLesley integration in January. If you have used the myLesley tool recently, email eLIS@lesley.edu and we will help you update your content.
For details on specific tools, please refer to support page on this site for that tool.
What do I need to do?
It’s always a good idea to have a backup of your course materials. You may wish to archive your course(s) prior to the upgrade just in case. You can find instructions for doing this on the Lesley Support page for archiving your courses.
We also recommend that you closely review your course content after the upgrade to ensure everything is behaving as intended. We don’t expect any issues, but it’s good to be prepared.
If you are using any of the tools we plan to remove and have questions or need assistance, email eLIS@lesley.edu.
Please note, grades for the Fall semester are NOW due on January 8th at 5pm. The deadline has been extended due both to the myLesley downtime and the fact that LOIS will be down on January 4th for a hardware update. However, we recommend that you complete any grading in myLesley before December 30th. If you need to grade content in myLesley during the upgrade period, you will need to download that content prior December 30th and grade it offline. There will be no access to this content while myLesley is being updated. Please follow these instructions to download your students' work.